What Causes Veins to Show on Hands?
There are several reasons why your hand veins may be bulging or appear more visible. These include aging, exercise, genetics, varicosity, and even low body weight.
Aging and Visible Hand Veins
Aging is a top contributor to visible hand veins. Volume loss and thinning skin can make even healthy veins appear more prominent. Aging is also a contributing factor to varicose veins, where blood pools in the veins, causing them to become enlarged and bulging.
Exercise, Increased Circulation and Bulging Hand Veins
If you notice your hand veins more after exerting yourself, this is a temporary and natural result of exercise. This happens because your circulation increases when your muscles are active. Many body builder enthusiasts covet being muscular, lean and ‘vascular’ as signs of being in great shape.
The Genetic Factor
Whether the veins are more prominent in your family or you have a family history of venous disease, your genetics can be a factor which “causes” your veins to be more visible on your hands and elsewhere on your body. Some have thin, transparent skin that shows our veins more.
Low Body Weight
Being very thin or even underweight can make your hand veins appear more prominent.
Deep Vein Blood Clots
There is a lot written about blood clots in the legs, but you can also get them in the deep veins of your arms. One source of thrombosis of the subclavian vein, which drains the blood from the arm back to the heart, is scarring from IV lines placed in the central veins of the chest. Athletes (such MLB pitchers) can develop clots in their arm veins; this is due to muscular overgrowth pinching the subclavian vein draining the arm between the muscles and an extra rib. No matter their cause, blood clots in your arms can break free and travel to the lungs, so it’s important to watch for the symptoms of blood clots in your arms and seek help with a vein specialists if you are concerned.
Superficial Vein Phlebitis, Vein Inflammation
Autoimmune disorders, infections, IV medications and injuries can all contribute to inflammation of the veins resulting in phlebitis or superficial blood clots. This can make your hand veins appear red, swollen and tender.
Though rare in the hands, you can get varicose veins anywhere. Varicose veins are less common in the arm than the legs since it is a gravity thing. If the valves in the veins become damaged over time, proper blood flow is affected. This causes the blood to pool, which makes the veins swell, bulge, and even twist. The vein walls are also affected, as they stretch and weaken. This can lead to bleeding risks if an injury occurs. Varicose veins should be evaluated and treated by your vein specialists.